Every few weeks it’s the same drama: The next school assignment is due – and just before that, cramming until late at night is the order of the day. Finally, the English vocabulary must be crammed, the history data must be memorized and the math problems must be understood. However, short-term and concentrated learning a few days before exams usually does little good, say educators. At least it does not bring lasting learning – and retain, because the knowledge remains thereby often not long in memory, but is soon already again disappeared.
If, on the other hand, you want to have less stress before exams and still retain some of the material afterwards, you should therefore study regularly. "Anyone can learn," explains learning expert Professor Martin Korte of Braunschweig Technical University. "However, if you associate learning with negative things, you learn worse."So if you’re annoyed that you have to study for that stupid exam, you won’t be able to study very well. "It’s better to be clear about why you want to learn the particular material, i.e., what your motivation is," Korte says.
Learning is easier: Cramming should not be a chore
How Finland’s smart kids learn
"Welt" reporter Lars Paulsen visits a booth for Finnish children’s books. There he quickly recognizes why the young Scandinavians always come out on top in the annual Pisa studies.
Source: The World
Because if you see the sense in something, learning is also easier. Albrecht Kresse, a learning coach from Berlin, adds: "It’s like a hobby you have – you often learn a lot of new things in a short time because you enjoy it."It is therefore important to ask oneself: "How can I make myself like the subject or the material I am currently learning??"
Before actually learning, you should thus set your learning goal. For example, "I want to learn English vocabulary to communicate better with my foreign friends on Facebook," or "If I can do the rule of three in math, I might understand my phone bill or discussions about tax increases better in everyday life".
It’s also important to recognize how you learn best, they say. "One should ask oneself ‘What type of learner am I??’" advises Kresse, who has written several books on the subject. Because while some like to study – and study well – with friends, others need the quiet of a library or need to sit in a comfortable armchair in their own room. "It is important that you do not associate anything bad with the place, but can learn well there. Then it’s not just a matter of fulfilling one’s duty."
Effective learning only through continuity
In addition there are several tricks, how one can remember things particularly well. "The most effective and time-saving learning is continuous learning," Korte reports. Those who regularly study 30 to 45 minutes for a subject usually only need to repeat and internalize what they have learned before the exams. It will be much easier.
For example, hourly logs could help with this. "Hourly logs are important sources of information," explains the Studienkreis in Bochum. They serve to secure important results of the lessons. This means: the course and the results of the lesson are briefly summarized. So you have the most important things clearly written down, and what you have learned is structured.